Thursday, August 27, 2015

OSINT NEWS- U.S. & FOREIGN SPY AGENCY HAPPENINGS!



 
HOW TO USE THIS SITE
(1) For daily updates on happenings within the 17 agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), scroll down right margin to "U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS- click agency below". Click the agency and all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal articles will  appear.
(2) For daily updates on happenings in Foreign spy services, scroll down the right margin to "FOREIGN SPY SERVICE HAPPENINGS". Click the spy agency in particular country, and all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal publications will appear.

(3) Search TOPIC SEARCH in the right-hand margin and type in your topic of interest. All relevant posts will appear.
(4) Go to ARTICLE ARCHIVES in the right-hand margin and click a date. All articles written on that date will appear. 
 
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OSINT NEWS- HAPPENINGS AT THE PENTAGON.

The Pentagon has 6 million square feet of floor space
     Across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., stands the Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. The structure encompasses more than 6 million square feet of floor space and is ranked among the largest office buildings in the world.

Security footage of plane crashing into Pentagon
     On September 11, 2001, shortly after terrorists flew hijacked commercial airliners into New York City’s World Trade Center, another hijacked plane struck the Pentagon, killing 189 people and damaging roughly one-third of the building. The extensive post-9/11 repairs and renovations of the Pentagon were completed in exactly one year.

Pentagon has new data breach rules with regulations governing how the defense industry should report cybersecurity incidents. Contractors and subcontractors must report “cyber incidents that result in an actual or potentially adverse effect” on either the contractor’s information system and data, or its ability to “provide operationally critical support.”

The Pentagon denies F-35 numbers review; it is not conducting a formal review of F-35 planned procurement numbers. However, Gen. Joe Dunford hinted the total projected buy of the F-35 — 2,443 in total, is spread across three models for the Air Force, Marines and Navy — was underway.

Pentagon directs shock and survivability tests of Carrier Ford. It rejected a US Navy plan to carry out shock and survivability tests on the second ship of its new aircraft carrier design, and instead directed the service to test the first ship — even though doing so may delay the ship's first deployment by at least half a year.

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Email system used by Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff hacked into by Russia. The Moscow cyber attack against the Defense Department happened in late July and about 4,000 government email accounts were infiltrated, forcing the military to take it off line and "cleanse" it.

Pentagon goes under a broader umbrella of enterprise IT services. It's a military-wide shift where the Defense Department will operate in its Single Service Provider-Pentagon effort.

Pentagon under investigation by Inspector General for  overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign and distorting or altering intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group.

Pentagon looks at state-side prisons to house Gitmo prisoners. It's taking a serious look at the military prison in Kansas and the Navy Brig in South Carolina as it evaluates potential U.S. facilities to house detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

42 VALUABLE OSINT RESOURCES ON NATIONAL SECURITY

    
Pubic OSINT resource sites are vast in number


     Below are 42 Public OSINT resources I search through often to find timely information on issues involving national security, home grown terrorism, overseas terrorism, and other intelligence issues. If you are a journalist covering the Intelligence Community (IC) beat, a writer of spy fiction (or non-fiction), an intelligence professional who is retired or still working inside the IC, or simply a curious spy buff, these resources are for you.
     Hint: When I have a topic to research, I often find articles about it directly on the home page of these resources. However, if not, I type it in to the "Search" box, which most of these resources have. You will be amazed at the information you collect. Enjoy!

Updates on U.S. Intelligence Community agency happenings

Updates on Foreign Spy Agencies

OODA Loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act

Defense News

Military Times

Defense One

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Air Force Times

Federal Times

C4/ISRNet

Defense 24

DOD- Dept. Of Defense

DOD News

OSINT sometimes overlaps with HUMINT and SIGINT
 

Breaking Defense

Homeland Security

The National Interest

IHS Jane's 360

IHS Jane's 360- Terrorism & Insurgency

Nextgov- Cyber Security

Nextgov- Defense

CIA official site

Security Week

Debka File

National Defense

     In addition, these sites offer even more OSINT resources:

** 8 RESOURCES ON U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY 

**6 OSINT RESOURCES ON IRAN'S PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

** GREAT OSINT RESEARCH RESOURCES!

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Friday, August 14, 2015

CIA HERO ANTONIO MENDEZ IN MOVIE ARGO

The 6 American diplomats arriving in U.S. after CIA agent
Tony Mendez exfiltrated them out of Iran (1980)
     I first met Antonio J. Mendez in Beachwood, an eastern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. That was nine years ago and I'll never forget him...a true American hero. That's why I had to see the movie "ARGO", starring Ben Affleck portraying Antonio J. Mendez.
     On May 20, 2006, a small group of the Cleveland branch of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) met with "Tony" Mendez in Beachwood for a luncheon and lengthy account of his adventure in Iran. We listened to him discuss the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation where he ex-filtrated six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.
     Tony revealed a little known fact during the Iranian hostage situation. H. Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire we all got to know when he ran for president, had used a secret land route to ex-filtrate two of his employees imprisoned early on in the Iranian Revolution. While Tony Mendez was planning how to get the Americans out of Iran, Perot contacted the CIA and offered his services to help them rescue the hostages. "What's the holdup?", Ross Perot snapped in his usual manner. "If it's red tape, I'll put up the money and you can pay me back later!" Ah...sometimes I wish H. Ross Perot had become America's President.     
     There were some Hollywood deviations from what really happened in the mission, but the CIA, in fact, did create a completely fictional Hollywood movie project that fooled Iranians and saved hostages. Indeed, CIA disguise master Antonio Mendez did create a sci-fi movie plot to free captives in Tehran in 1979 and the movie "ARGO" accurately depicts how Tony and the CIA created a screenplay, printed business cards, and rented staff to occupy the nonexistent "Studio Six" in order to exfiltrate the American hostages successfully.

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     Before I met Tony Mendez at the small, semi-secret AFIO luncheon, I purchased his book, "The Master Of Disguise- My Secret Life in the CIA". He autographed it for me and wrote on the inside cover: "5/20/06...Best To Bob Morton. Enjoy the memories of the Shadow Wars!"
 
Tony Mendez...a true American hero 
     He is a true American hero who risked his life for the six American diplomatic personnel. I interviewed him further after the luncheon ended. At that time he was unaware of the possibility of a movie being produced about the Iranian mission. 
     During the luncheon, he spoke in detail about the planning and execution of operation ARGO, and the CIA and CIS (Canadian Intelligence Service) cooperation and coordination involved in getting the six Americans out of Iran. The Canadian embassy hid them until Mendez and his fake "Studio Six Hollywood" movie team could arrive and exfiltrate them out. Operatives of the CIS risked their lives as well as they partook in the operation. 
     During the interview, Mendez told me that they spent weeks on deciding what type of "cover" they would use, and ultimately decided on a Hollywood movie project because most in the Middle East perceive Hollywood movie directors to be a bit nuts, but are intrigued by them. That's why Mendez decided to use the "Hollywood director/producer" role as a deep cover.

     Tony Mendez and his CIA team performed the secret operation almost perfectly while under the risk of instant death. To prepare and plan for the mission, he flew to Canada dozens of times and visited Hollywood studios with

 
John Goodman, Alan Arkin & Ben Affleck in movie ARGO

his Canadian CIS entourage, as depicted in the movie. They set up a shop in Hollywood with secretaries, etc., in case Iranians got suspicious and sent their spies here in the US to check it out.

     Tony said the movie ARGO depicted what really occurred quite well, with several exceptions:
  •      The movie suggested Tony was the only CIA officer involved in the mission and he single-handedly organized and executed the plan. In reality, there were two CIA officers with forgery and exfiltration skills involved. 
  • The six diplomats never went to the market to "scout a location"- they spent the entire 79 days inside the homes of the Canadian. 
  •      The dramatic moment where the airline tickets are not waiting at the counter and guards then call “Studio Six” to verify the identities of the six never happened. The Canadian’s had purchased the tickets and there were no problems at checkpoints or at the airline counter. The CIA officers had intentionally scheduled an early flight when they knew “airline officials would be sleepy and the Revolutionary Guards would still be in bed.
  •      The Iranian’s did work to reconstruct shredded documents but did not identify one of the Americans at the last moment.
     I say, who cares? It was a thrilling movie and in reality, if Tony Mendez was caught the Revolutionary Guards would have murdered him on the spot...and that's not Hollywood fiction.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Monday, August 10, 2015

U.S. & FOREIGN SPY AGENCY HAPPENINGS- 8/10/2015

These items were obtained using OSINT research of domestic and foreign newspapers and journals.

The CIA and FBI investigating the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Senator Dick Durbin.  They want to know more about a letter, over his signature, in which he appeared to dictate to Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk who should be in his government? A Washington, D.C.-based reporter for Russian outlet RIA Novosti wanted to know- discovery of the letter appeared to be a huge propaganda coup for Moscow and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, who have argued that the government in Kiev is Washington’s puppet.

The Islamic State terrorist group is increasingly using encrypted communications to recruit troubled Americans and urge them to carry out attacks, FBI Director James B. Comey told Congress on Wednesday.

Argentina's new spy agency, the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) will target captains of industry and be tasked with unique roles, such as preventing "economic coups," bank runs, and currency offloads. It will function as a "doctrinaire body aimed at laying the foundations for a process of profound reform and modernization of the National Intelligence System. The  former Secretariat of Intelligence was too prone to political manipulation, so the AFI will not to "spy" on Argentinean citizens. The Argentina government will handle future authorizations for wiretaps on intelligence targets, shifting responsibility from the judiciary to the Public Ministry.


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Cyprus' Intelligence Chief Andreas Pentaras resigns after spy tech revelations. The head of the island's secret service, the KYP, has resigned following revelations that it had been using phone surveillance technology. A published copy of a December 2014 invoice made out to KYP for the purchase of such technology showed that KYP had paid €35,000 for items as “Android Platform,” “No.5 Agents Software License,” Physical Infection Vectors,” and “Remote Mobile Infections.”   The KYP purchase of such phone surveillance tech was from a manufacturer with a poor reputation among privacy advocates.

Moxie Marlinspike: The Coder Who Encrypted Your Texts. In the past decade, Moxie Marlinspike has squatted on an abandoned island, toured the US by hopping trains, he says, and earned the enmity of government officials for writing software.

Meet Moxie Marlinspike, the guy who created an encryption program that scrambles messages until they reach the intended reader. The FBI, CIA and NSA say his program will enable terrorists to remain below their radar. His program is  so simple that Facebook Inc.'s WhatsApp made it a standard feature for many of the app's 800 million users. The software is effective enough to alarm governments. Earlier this year, shortly after WhatsApp adopted it, British Prime Minister David Cameron called protected-messaging apps a "safe space" for terrorists. The following week, President Barack Obama called them "a problem."


CIA Spymaster Tyler Drumheller dies, warned the Bush administration that "Curveball" was an unreliable source. The notion that Iraq had WMD was based mainly on Curveball's testimony, which proved false.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). He is author of the spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean."

Sunday, August 9, 2015

CIA WHISTLEBLOWER ON IRAQ WMD DIES

Tyler Drumheller
     I was sorry to hear that high-level CIA officer Tyler Drumheller passed away from pancreatic cancer last week. He had impeccable credentials and was an intelligence source above reproach. Perhaps, that's why he held my admiration during the Bush administration's resolve to invade Iraq despite his (Drumheller) efforts to convey the truth that Curveball was an unreliable source to justify to the American public that Saddam Hussein had WMD's.
     In fact, the seasoned CIA operative and division chief for the Directorate of Operations (DO) in Europe was baffled by the huge gap between Curveball's fly-by-night reputation amongst intelligence professionals and the unquestioned blind faith that the Bush administration placed on his statements about Hussein's WMD.
     Drumheller built up a global intelligence network of recruited assets and operatives during his 26 years as an intelligence officer, so it was no surprise when his associates in German intelligence told him their grave doubts about Curveballs credibility, calling him a "fabricator" possessing a "very erratic character."

Drumheller's warning were ignored by the Bush administration

     I recall the Bush administration's incessant support for Curveball's claims about WMD in Iraq while Drumheller was shouting out warnings that the intel was bogus. He told top CIA officials and even made an attempt to delete the "Iraq has WMD" language from a preliminary draft of Colin Powell's speech before the United Nations.
     No surprise that a scornful 2005 report on the Iraq intelligence failures referred to Drumheller's concerns over Curveball's credibility. Without mentioning his name, the report stated that "an official in the CIA's European division had expressed serious concerns about Curveball's reliability to senior officials at the CIA and the warnings were inexplicably dismissed."
     The Bush administration's Curveball devotion persisted in the face of Drumheller's forewarnings, thus making the miscalculated Iraq invasion not an intelligence failure, but a presidential policy ruse to invade Iraq. The "Iraq possessing WMD" claim was the centerpiece of Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech and became the focus of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations. However, Powell was duped, for he was not told about Drumheller's doubts about Curveball.  In fact, in his book “On the Brink,” Drumheller revealed that his heart sank as he watched Powell's UN speech.
     Perhaps Greg Miller, who covers the intelligence beat for The Washington Post, best describes Tyler Drumheller's life at the CIA. Miller stated that Mr. Drumheller had retained a young CIA recruit’s enthusiasm for much of his career, but grew tired of the internal conflicts after the Sept. 11 attacks. In retirement, he asked to have his CIA Distinguished Career Intelligence medal delivered by mail rather than returning to headquarters for a ceremony. When the envelope arrived, he wrote, Drumheller opened it up and fell into a bit of a reverie, reflecting on his career and the years past, the successes and the friends gained, the colleagues lost and the mistakes made.
     So sad. Tyler Drumheller...a true Whistleblower...he will be missed.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). He is author of the spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean."

Saturday, August 1, 2015

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